In the first of our series detailing what happened to the original 100 members of the party's so-called priority list of candidates, here we identify the 27 who are not now seeking a parliamentary seat for the next election.
- Four are either sitting MEPs seeking re-election or candidates hoping to be elected to the European Parliament in June;
- Three have have been appointed to Boris Johnson's administration in London;
- Two have defected to other parties (one each to Labour and the Lib Dems);
- One has been ennobled; and
- The other 17 have a variety of reasons for not pursuing a parliamentary career.
Martin Callanan MEP He
stood in Gateshead East in 1992 and Tynemouth in 1997, but has been an
MEP for the North East of England since 1999 and is seeking re-election there in
Pam Chesters A councillor in Camden throughout the 1990s, she stood in Bristol West in 2001. Pam initially applied for seats and had several interviews before deciding not to pursue the search for a parliamentary seat any further. She has been Chairman of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust since 2001 and has recently been appointed Boris Johnson's adviser on Health and Youth Opportunities.
Tim Collins A former press secretary to John Major and member of the Downing Street Policy Unit, he was elected MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in 1997 and held a number of frontbench posts, including a series of roles in the shadow cabinet under three party leaders. However, Tim became the only high profile MP to fall victim to the Lib Dems' so-called "decapitation strategy" at the 2005 general election. He applied for and was interviewed in several seats in 2006 and early 2007, but then stopped applying for seats and left the candidates' list in April 2008. He told ConservativeHome: "I firmly now do not wish to return to the Commons - my life has moved on and is much better for it."
Peter Cox Candidate for Exeter in 2005, Peter is chairman of his local ward Conservatives but has put his political aspirations on hold "for the time being" as he concentrates on his legal career as a partner in a firm of solicitors.
Antonia Dunn Contested Cynon Valley in 2005 but has opted to come off the candidates' list. She remains a Wandsworth councillor.
Vicky Ford Deputy chairman of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Conservatives and a member of South Cambridgeshire district council, Vicky contested Birmingham Northfield in 2005. She applied for about a dozen Westminster seats (and had interviews in nearly all of them) but was subsequently selected as a candidate for the European Parliament: she is third on the party list in her home region of the East of England.
Jacqui Foster Having unsuccessfully stood in Newham South in 1992 and Peterborough in 1997, she was elected an MEP for the North West of England in 1999, but sadly failed to be re-elected in 2004. However, Jacqui is standing again for the European Parliament in June in the North West where she is third on the party list.
Andrew Griffith A former - indeed the final - national chairman of the Young Conservatives, he stood in Corby at both the 2001 and 2005 general elections. Andrew was runner-up in the selection race for the newly-created safe Conservative seat of South Northamptonshire but on his appointment as Chief Financial Officer and a board director at BSkyB, he decided not to seek a seat at the next election. He does, however, remain a donor and adviser to the party.
Kay Hemmings A member of Northamptonshire County Council until 2007, she remains for the time being a district councillor in Daventry, but is not understood to be pursuing her political ambitions further.
Pippa Hill An unsuccessful council candidate in Wandsworth in 2006, she moved away and had a baby. Pippa has decided against seeking a seat for the next election, but says that she hopes to do so in the future.
Kevin Hollinrake Applied for a handful of seats and was interviewed in most of those before being selected at an open primary as candidate for Dewsbury in July 2007. However, he resigned in October 2008 to concentrate on his property business during the economic downturn. Kevin is still attending party social and fundraising events and is supporting the newly-selected candidate for Dewsbury.
Syed Kamall MEP A GLA candidate in 2000 and parliamentary candidate for West Ham in 2001, he stood for the European Parliament in the London region in 2004 but was not quite high enough up the list to get elected. However, he became an MEP in May 2005 when Theresa Villiers stood down from Brussels on her election to the Commons. Syed is seeking re-election to the European Parliament in June.
Kit Malthouse A former deputy leader of Westminster Council who contested Liverpool Wavertree in 1997, Kit applied for a few seats, but was then selected as GLA candidate for London West Central and was elected to City Hall in May 2008. He was promptly appointed by Boris Johnson as Deputy Mayor responsible for Policing and vice-chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority.
Amanda McLean Active in the party since the mid-1980s, she stood in Oxford West & Abingdon in 2005, but has opted not to seek a seat for the next election, taking the view that it would have been incompatible with her job as Chief Executive of a national charity, Prostate UK. Amanda remains chairman of her local parish council.
Melanie McLean Contested Islington South & Finsbury in 2005, but is no longer involved in politics, having decided to spend time building up her consultancy business.
Jeremy Middleton Having stood for Parliament in Newcastle East & Wallsend in 1997 and at the 2004 Hartlepool by-election (as well as standing in the 2004 European election), Jeremy resigned from the candidates' list before applying for any seats in this Parliament. He decided against pursuing a parliamentary career, opting instead to go down the voluntary route and is currently standing for the chairmanship of the National Conservative Convention.
Ali Miraj A former councillor in Hillingdon and candidate for Aberavon in 2001 and then Watford in 2005, Ali was suspended from the candidates' list in July 2007 after a public row with the party leadership. He accused David Cameron of being "obsessed with PR", the party claimed that he had been asking for a peerage, but he counter-claimed that the party had actually been wooing him with the offer of a peerage. The suspension lasted six months and he was invited to re-apply to the list, but he opted not to do so.
Emma Moffett Stopped applying for seats a couple of years ago, deciding to prioritise her children and the family property renovation business. She is, however, standing for Worcestershire County Council at the elections in June.
Maggie Punyer The candidate in Burton in 2001 and Harrogate & Knaresborough in 2005, she is director of a new media business and is no longer seeking a seat, having concluded that associations seemed to be looking for younger candidates and coming to the view that "perhaps my time had passed".
Adam Rickitt The self-styled "whipping boy" of the A-List, the former Coronation Street star and some-time pop singer's attempt to enter the political world was short-lived. In February 2007 he went to New Zealand to take up a guest role on a soap opera, and by July 2007 he had opted to stay there. "It had become clear to me that balancing a political career would have been impossible in the long term when done side by side with an acting career," he said.
Beverley Nielsen A former Midlands Businesswoman of the Year, ConservativeHome has learnt that she resigned from her local Conservative association in West Worcestershire in December and that she has now defected to the Liberal Democrats, for whom she is due to stand for election to Worcestershire County Council in June.
Kulveer Ranger After fighting Makerfield in 2005, Kulveer applied for a large number of seats, reaching a number of finals. He was made party vice-chairman responsible for cities, but had to stand down from that post on his appointment as Boris Johnson's Director for Transport policy in May 2008.
Alexandra Robson A former head of business relations at CCHQ who stood in Wolverhampton North East in 2005, Alexandra is not seeking a seat at the next general election, but hopes to do so at the election after that. She remains a councillor in Hammersmith & Fulham.
Jane Scott Went on to the candidates' list in order to be able to apply for the candidacy in her local constituency of Chippenham, but was unsuccessful in that venture. She remains leader of Wiltshire County Council.
Lucy Shersby Contested Battersea in 2001, took a break from politics to raise her family and then came back on the list. However, after one application and one interview Lucy "realised in her heart of hearts" that she didn't want to be an MP and came off the list after two months in order to giver others a chance. As a former journalist, she now gives candidates advice about written communications.
Judith Symes Candidate in Bootle in 2001 and Brighton Kemptown in 2005, she defected to the Labour Party in September 2007, just after Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. She explained her decision by saying: "We have had ten years of record investment in public services and the highest employment ever, as well as a new prime minister who was the most competent chancellor, creating stability and a growing economy."
Sayeeda Warsi Having fought Dewsbury in 2005, she was appointed to the shadow cabinet in July 2007 as shadow minister for community cohesion and given a peerage, making her the youngest member of the House of Lords.
PS: I have been unable to establish the intentions of just one of the one hundred original A-Listers - Dr Richard Evans. If he is reading or if any readers are able to help, please email me.